September 24, 2016
Big day hike today, about 12 miles round trip to the top of Cloud's Rest and back. Unfortunately, Wallace misplaced his water bottle at the top of the ridge on the way from Cathedral Lake to Sunrise Lake, so we were down to four water bottles. Stupid us, we also decided not to bring a water pump and instead tried to ration the four bottles amongst the five of us.
September 23, 2016
When we awoke in the morning, there was a thick layer of frost on our tents. We made sure we didn't get up until after the sun came over the ridge to stay warm. This gave us a little bit later of a start. Day 2 was about 6.5 miles to Upper Sunrise Lake.
September 20, 2016
Jonathan and I returned from a close friend's wedding in Boston two days earlier and spent time with family all day Monday. Early Tuesday morning we left LA and headed north, past Mammoth Lakes to the east entrance to Yosemite National Park. Jonathan finally got his wish -- taking me backpacking in Yosemite. I remember early on in our relationship, he talked about how he had gone backpacking and I asked, "Is that where you were a life preserver on your back?!". Wow - so innocent and so naive! I think I meant a backpack but called it a life preserver instead.
With my upcoming birthday, I was having a hard time deciding how I wanted to celebrate my 30th. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do something big, something a little more low key, etc. In true fashion, we ended up doing a little bit of everything and most importantly, spending it with family and friends.
It's officially beginning to be Spring. As we headed down south toward a weekend in the desert for Coachella, the snow conditions are beginning to fade.
We stopped for a few days in Bend, Oregon, again to hang with our friends, Matt and Kate. Mt. Bachelor has enough snow to likely last thru Memorial Day weekend. How sick is that? Matt was even telling us that they've opened the resort on July 4th for a day of skiing if the mountain allowed. So crazy!
To start our US/Canada winter trip we decided to head north first. First stop, Bend to ski Mount Bachelor again. On our way, we passed Mount Shasta and stopped in on Crater Lake. Both extremely beautiful in the winter time, definite must sees! During our time in Bend we got to see Matt and Kate again and an old friend of Allie’s from LMU, Justin. We were also treated with some incredible sunsets while visiting. Unfortunately, no new snow, but this time we were actually able to ski the summit and could actually see the amazing view.
Until next time, next up we are meeting up with some good friends in Whistler for the weekend.
Not too long ago, Jonathan and I stumbled on a documentary called Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry – the documentary features a Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, “who uses social media and his art to inspire protests against the state, and suffers government persecution for his actions”. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely watch it.
It's been quite a while since we posted anything, sorry about that …
Going back almost a month to my birthday, December 1, we cruised up to Mammoth to ski a few days on our way up to Tahoe. There is really nothing like skiing on a Monday; it completely ruins weekend skiing for you.
After skiing, we drove out to Mono Lake. This place is kind of magical. The tufa towers are calcium-carbonate spires formed by interactions between freshwater springs (previously underwater) and the alkaline lake water. The formations are a little unreal, feels kind of like another planet. Mono Lake is an ancient lake, over 1 million years old. Definitely worth a stop if you’re up near Mammoth.
Never been here before, surprise surprise…
We weren’t exactly sure where to camp, thankfully our friend Katrina mentioned the possibility of dispersed camping in Los Padres National Forest just off Highway 1. Well…it's not really just off the highway…we ended about 5 miles up Plaskett Ridge Road. Definitely worth the bumpy adventure up the single lane dirt road.
At a distance, Moonstone Beach doesn’t really seem like much. Walk out onto the beach and you’ll notice it's not really sand, but small multi-colored stones. Pretty amazing actually. We spent a good 20 minutes or so just sifting thru them pulling out ones that caught our eyes. Then Allie let out her inner child and had some fun chasing sea gulls.
Being one of California’s largest state parks, we only took a quick glimpse at what it had to offer. We only stopped for about an hour and strolled part of the Bluffs trail in search of the Stonehenge formations near Bluchon Point. Unfortunately, we didn’t do our research properly so we ended up in a different area. Neither of us had heard of this place, but were pleasantly surprised by its beauty. The colors and textures of the rock formations by the water were incredible.
We will be back again to explore more when we have more time!
- Jonathan and Allie
Lots of driving this trip. We decided to take a drive thru Yosemite on the way to Death Valley and took a lunch stop at Tenaya Lake. The weather was perfect. We spent the first night at Eureka Sand Dunes in the northern area of Death Valley, the tallest sand dunes in California and maybe even the western US. The campgrounds are dry, meaning no running water and no flushing toilets, but there is a lonely pit toilet. One of the benefits of camping here is how remote it is. Once the sun went down, the night’s sky wasn’t subject to any light pollution. We sat out in our beach chairs and stared up at the sky for a few hours before going to bed. The next morning we drove thru Death Valley and out to Valley of Fire State Park. This is a random little park just outside of Las Vegas. The red rocks literally pop out of nowhere. We were supposed to camp our second night here, but failed to follow our itinerary and pushed on. The campgrounds there were pretty awesome too. Guess it will have to wait for another visit in the future.
- Allie and Jonathan
HUGE trees…some of the largest in the world. Seriously unreal…they look a little bit fake actually. These giant Sequoias take thousands of years to grow to this size and apparently never die of old age. They only die once they fall. Just imagine what these trees have seen in their lifetimes. In 1891, the Mark Twain Stump (a 1700 year old tree) was cut down by two men in thirteen days and they transported a cross section of the trunk to the East Coast where people refused to believe it was real. With these two parks being in our own backyard, it was a definite must see stop on our way toward the Grand Canyon. - Jonathan
First night at Lassen Volcanic National Park was a little bit of a fail. We got rained on overnight and woke up to drizzle. Instead of hiking Bumpass Hell we pushed on to Mt. Shasta. We relaxed and played board games the first afternoon and woke up early to hike to the Sierra Club base, Horse Camp. The weather turned out to be amazing with clear skies following us as we hiked and some incredible view points of Shasta.
On to Crater Lake tomorrow morning.